Fruit Pruning for Wellbeing

The challenge for therapeutic horticulturalists is to find meaningful gardening or nature-based tasks to do all year round. Some days in February it feels better to stay inside, but on a bright, sunny day in there’s nothing better than wrapping up warm and doing some fruit pruning.  Winter, when the plants are dormant, is the ideal time to prune – but do avoid frosty days.

This week we tackled the blackcurrant and redcurrant shrubs in the Community Garden; these needed pruning back to encourage them produce new stems, flowers and fruit.  By pruning the plants and taking hardwood cuttings from the stems we removed, we boosted our wellbeing as well as the plants’ health.

Through this task we covered all 5 of the Five Ways to Wellbeing;
Connect – working together as a team to prune the fruit plants
Be Active – using a range of tools outside with some walking and plenty of bending
Take Notice – looking closely at the buds of the redcurrant and blackcurrant to tell apart the two plants
Keep Learning – increasing pruning skills
Give – potting up hardwood cuttings to grow more plants to pass on to others.

If you’d like more ideas for seasonal therapeutic gardening activities see Chapter 7 of my book ‘Designing, planting and using a Therapeutic Garden’

Other winter tasks in an edible garden